In order to leave their home country, people sometimes rely on people who can then force them into sexual, labour or other forms of exploitation when arriving in a new country.
Human trafficking is a crime and as a victim of human trafficking, you have the right to be protected by the Italian state. This includes the right to get a permit of stay that allows you to stay in Italy, as well as the right to be hosted in a center and access a series of support services.
Depending on your individual situation, you may be eligible for either international protection (‘protezione internazionale’ in Italian) or social protection (‘protezione sociale’ in Italian).
You can use this article to learn more about:
- International protection for victims of trafficking
- Social protection for victims of trafficking
- Rights as a victim of human trafficking
- Who can help
Learn more about: WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING
If you have been trafficked and you fear persecution or danger in your home country, you can apply for asylum, and the Commission may grant you a form of international protection (for example, the refugee status).
If you decide to apply for asylum, the anti-trafficking agency might be involved in the procedure to assess your situation – only if you give your consent.
Learn more about: ASYLUM IN ITALY
The asylum interview as a victim of trafficking
If you feel comfortable, it is important that you share your experience and all the relevant information during your interview with the Territorial Commission. This will help the members of the Commission to better examine your case and grant you the protection you need.
If relevant elements emerge during your interview with the Territorial Commission, the interviewer must inform you on the rights and services available for victims of human trafficking.
The interviewer will ask for your consent to refer your case to the anti-trafficking agency and may decide to temporarily suspend the examination of your case. Here below we provide more information about the two scenarios, depending on whether you will give your consent or not.
If you give your consent
If you give your consent, a specialized staff from the anti-trafficking agency will meet you to assess your situation, and give you detailed information about available and specialized services and, in particular, about a special program called ‘Programma Unico di Emersione, Assistenza a Integrazione Sociale’ (Programme of emersion, assistance and social integration in English).
If the Commission suspends the examination of your case, they will wait for the opinion of the anti-trafficking agency to summon you again and make a decision on your asylum claim.
You can decide whether to access the Programma Unico di Emersione, Assistenza a Integrazione Sociale or not. This decision will not affect the outcome of your asylum application.
If you do not give your consent
If you do not give your consent, the interviewer will give you some informative materials and the National Anti-Trafficking Helpline. The Commission may suspend the examination of your case for 1 month to give you the time to consider contacting the anti-trafficking agency. After this month, the Commission will anyways summon you again to make a decision on your asylum claim.
Decision of the Territorial Commission
The Territorial Commission can decide to:
- Accept your asylum application and grant you a form of international protection: either refugee status or subsidiary protection
- Reject your asylum application if there are no grounds to grant you international protection or another form of protection.
- Reject your asylum application but sends your case to the Questura, who will issue you a protezione speciale permit
- Reject your asylum application but sends your case to the Questura, who may issue a permit for social protection – if there is evidence you are or have been a victim of human trafficking or servitude.
Not all victims or potential victims of trafficking are at risk of persecution or danger in their home country, and therefore entitled to receive international protection.
However, if you are facing a situation of exploitation or violence in Italy, Questura may decide to grant you social protection (‘protezione sociale’ in Italian), and issue a 6-month Permesso di Soggiorno per Casi Speciali. You may renew or convert this permit into a work, study or family permit.
Please note that you cannot directly apply for this type of permit. You may only be granted social protection either by reporting your situation at the police or with the support of social services. Either way you would need to join the Programma Unico di Emersione, Assistenza e Integrazione Sociale.
Note that this permesso is different from the 2-year Casi Speciali that substituted the humanitarian permit.
Who can get it?
The necessary requirements for the issue of the permit for social protection are:
- Situation of violence or serious exploitation
- Existence of a concrete, serious and current danger in Italy
- Willingness to join the Programma Unico di Emersione, Assistenza e Integrazione Sociale
You can access the Programma Unico also if you hold other permits of stay, but you can get the permit for social protection only if you access the Programma Unico.
Learn more about: PERMESSO PER CASI SPECIALI FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
What is the Programma Unico di Emersione, Assistenza e Integrazione Sociale?
The assistance and integration programme offers reception, protection, assistance and accompaniment towards autonomy to victims of human trafficking. You may be hosted in a protected house with a secret address, receive psycho-social and legal assistance, and accompaniment for socio-economic integration. Services offered by these special centers may vary across Italy.
What are my rights as a victim or potential victim of human trafficking?
As a victim of human trafficking and if you get a permit of stay, you have the right to:
- Receive information about your rights from a specialized organization assisting victims of human trafficking
- Stay in Italy
- Access the Italian healthcare system
- Access the Italian education system
- Register with the Registry Office and get a carta d’identità
- Work in Italy – as an asylum-seeker you can work two months after submitting your C3 form
- Stay in a reception center and receive support services, or adhere to the assistance and integration programme and stay in a special protection center and receive support services.
Who can help?
Operators of your center or social workers at local help desks should always be there to help you. However, here are some national helplines that you may call to seek help and specialized information.
National anti-trafficking helpline
If you are a victim or potential victim of human trafficking, including labor exploitation, you can call the national Anti-trafficking helpline: 800290290 or +393427754946 (from LycaMobile only).
The helpline is free of charge and active 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The service is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Albanian, Romanian, Russian, Moldovan, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese and Arabic. A specialized operator will give you information on services assisting trafficked persons and, upon request, refer you to them.
Anticaporalato help desk
If you found a job through intermediaries and ended up working under exploitative conditions, especially in the farming sector, you can contact the Anticaporalato help desk: 800939000 or +393509092008 (WhatsApp only).
The help desk is active from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 am to 6 pm. The service is available in the following languages: English, French, Arabic, Pidgin, Edo/Bini, Wolof, Mandinka, Fula, Pular, plus others upon request. A specialized operator will give you information on services assisting victims of labor exploitation and assistance programs.
Learn more about: USEFUL NUMBERS IN ITALY
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